Why does user experience matter?

WHY DOES USER EXPERIENCE MATTER?

User experience has become quite the hot topic of late however more often than not, it was never heard of unless it was going wrong. User experience is an integral part of the design process from the very earliest of concepts to the final finished product. So with this very public discussion about user experience occurring, we look at why it matters so much to designers and the ability of the final product.

What exactly does user experience mean?

User experience or UX for short is about how the person feels when they’re interacting with a digital product such as your website. UX encompasses a whole manner of factors, some of which are controllable by the designers themselves and others that are purely environmental or user preference. These different factors include usability, accessibility, ergonomics and marketing to name just a few. It should be noted however that UX isn’t usability although they are closely related. UX is more to do with the experience and emotion, the connection felt by the user when using your website. Usability is about the effectiveness of the design and how user friendly it is to manoeuvre.

Why is UX so important?

The user experience of your website is just as important, if not more so than visual identity in terms of design. it really doesn’t matter what your website looks like if people don’t know how to interact with it. Moreover they need to enjoy the experience when using it. UX is very much key for complex websites as users need to be able to navigate the website themselves and with ease. Neglecting UX can therefore leave your website sloppy putting potential customers off of returning. One of the most complex types of websites can be those that include retail or online sales as the websites needs to be not only well-organised but also needs to have clear and easy to follow signals of how to make the purchase.

UX is also very much the key for small and start up businesses as their website is often their first opportunity to make that all important first impression for potential customers. This debut is critical when it comes to directing traffic to your product. In short, user experience is important as it helps to create the momentum that can propel the business forward. Users take just a few seconds to decide whether your website is worth their time and more often than not that’s the only opportunity you get to reel someone in.

Providing poor user experience will seriously work against your websites success

Poor user experience will often have very noticeable issues that ultimately lead to a negative emotional connection to the website for the users. The Usability Professionals Association has outlined six key benefits to adding UX to the design and development process. These being; increased productivity, further increased sales, decreased support and training costs, decreased time and development costs, heightened customer satisfaction as well as reduced maintenance costs.

Incorporating the UX into the design process

With this in mind, the question of UX and how we can incorporate it into the design process will no doubt rise. It begins first and foremost with collaborative design and by this we mean opening up the entire process to a team of professionals that all have a common goal. The team must work together in order to create great aesthetics and vision as well as goals for a design project. You must then think about the connection and experience you want to achieve with your users i.e. simple, formal or emotional. Think about what the UX says about your brand too and ask whether it conveys a universal message. How does it compare with the UX of your competitors? Once you have the answers to these and a number of other similar questions, you’ll need to work on revisions. Try not to be disheartened however as it’s very rare for the first design to be the best option.

Many designers ask why they should worry about UX as it’s generally considered a developer problem but simply put, developing and designing around a user experience is absolutely everyone’s problem from the very first sketch to the final product. It’s therefore just as much a design issue as it is a developer one. Without an effective UX, your website is very likely to fail, it really is as simple as that.

A good UX keeps visitors returning

When it comes to digital products, user experience and visual identity should be thought about in tandem. Common applications we use everyday have users going back to them simply because of how they work and the connection they have achieved with reliability and meeting the individual’s needs. Users will notice the minor differences when comparing how the website works versus how the application works and so on but by working hard to create a common user experience where things work in much the same ways, users will still have the same feelings about the programme regardless of device and use. This is a universal and extremely effective user experience.

Hire a digital expert to give you the perfect website which ticks all the boxes

In conclusion, user experience is indeed an art form all of its own. You can most certainly never predict just how your website will be perceived but arming yourself with the tools to create a thoroughly effective user experience will ensure it’s met with as positive a reaction as possible. Here at Wecan Media we have not only the tools for the job but the creative minds too. Our team of digital experts can help you create not only the perfect website but the perfect website with a well thought out UX too. For more information or if you’d like a free, no obligation quote then contact us today and take your first step toward digital success. 


Four methods that will give your content strategy a boost

FOUR METHODS THAT WILL GIVE YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY A BOOST

Beginning, overseeing and maintaining a content strategy can often feel overwhelming. The term content strategy sounds simple enough but when you actually dive into it a little further and begin to observe the nuts and bolts of planning and developing your content, most realise it’s anything but. So many questions can begin to fill your head like the best place to start or maybe how much data to use or even who to make responsible for it? The list of questions can seem endless, unanswerable and very overwhelming indeed.

To help make things a little clearer, Craig, our marketing consultant here at Wecan Media has offered some of his best hints and tips for a solid foundation when it comes to a successful content strategy.  

Key Steps

One thing that’s fairly clear is that good content strategists are by and large fairly balanced in terms of being right-brained/left-brained. They aren’t just concerned with the substance of the content or rather the art and story as it’s sometimes known, or even just the what and why of what we publish but the structure of it too, so how and where the content will appear. A good content strategist should be fluent in every single part of that conversation so that even if one part needs a little more time and attention, it’ll receive it no problem. Sadly this has been something that many have struggled with since the web first came into existence.

When it comes to web design, at any given time there must be a balance between tech logistics, user experience, analytics, messaging and so on. At the centre of it all is content and if it’s to be human-centred, strategically minded and useful then a means of continually designing systems that allow disciplines to inform and influence one another needs to be found. To get this right the primary responsibility of a content strategist should be to ensure conversation across the different categories and make sure that the correct questions are being asked about the content at the right time during the design process and even beyond.

Forward Thinking

Many wonder how far ahead they should be planning their content strategy because let’s face it, we’re such a fast moving world that new things are happening and being introduced all of the time. Perhaps instead of asking yourself when to bring a content strategy into a project, it might be better to simply change your mind set and consider content strategies as a constant. We should all be asking ourselves constantly why we need the content, who it’s for, what their expectations are and what its requirements are to make it work with the current technical infrastructure. It’s also worth asking yourself if you can sustain the content throughout its lifecycle too. By changing your mind set and asking yourself these questions continually then you’ll eventually make it a habit.

Confusion with copy

During the design phase many are left needing copy to design but how do you avoid writing suggestive final copy and at what point should you be using the final copy? What about wireframes, design and beta? This is something that stumps most and often leads them into content strategies. Web writers are always being handed wireframes along with content requirements that don’t take into account the actual content and its substance leaving them questioning why they need this subhead or why the four pages can’t simply be one? Here at Wecan Media, we’ve found successful copywriting can only happen when it enters the design process and when it has certain questions already answered such as:

  • What does the user expect from this page/section/module?
  • What actions are we hoping to encourage from the user?
  • What’s the message we intend to deliver?
  • What voice and tone are we going for?

Some designers will often go head first into the design process when these aren’t answered and will find themselves struggling, especially when the website needs to be designed with and for the content itself. A helpful tool to use is a page table. It’s a great guide for writers and designers that helps through the process of crafting useful and usable content. By keeping the content at the very centre of everything then there’s a much better chance of not having to break the design later in the process.

Lastly, fight the good fight

we come across this difficulty all the time in terms of trying to introduce content strategies to, quite frankly, content strategy resistant companies. People do their utmost, killing themselves over PowerPoint after PowerPoint trying to explain what it is, why it’s needed and how it helps. This can sometimes gain some traction but more often than not it’s like talking to a brick wall so instead we simply ask questions. When dealing with our clients we try our best to be consultants rather than tacticians. We change the conversation and ask why, what, how, for who, what next and where? Here at Wecan Media we help people come to terms with the fact that content is no longer simply the stuff that fills the buckets but is rather something that has a real place. Content is now the reason we design and build in the first place.

If you’d like more information on content strategies and how we can help you, then contact us today and watch your website soar in Google rankings. 


Responsive Ecommerce website design for our Water Distillers client

Responsive ecommerce website design

We are proud to showcase our latest responsive ecommerce website for Make Water Pure (MWP), a home water distiller company based in the U.K

When MWP approached us, they knew they wanted a website that would help them to be the market leader for distilled water systems online but didn't know how to get there in the world of the world wide web.

Responsive ecommerce website design

They also had no idea what a responsive ecommerce website was or why it would be absolutely crucial to their online success.

In step Wecan Media, creating modern remarkable websites to ensure our clients achieve their goals online.

So please take a minute to have a look at www.makewaterpure.co.uk on your desktop, ipad or... YOUR MOBILE. Yes, MOBILE. Unlike the majority of ecommerce websites out there, we've made sure our clients website works on ALL major devices no matter how big or small the screen is.

The benefit of this is converting more mobile traffic into buyers who would otherwise leave the website dissatisfied with the user experience and difficult to navigate website.

We wish Make Water Pure all the best now knowing they truly are the number one website to buy your water distiller from!


SEO Campaign - Popcorn

popcorn supplier A recent client whose new website www.empirepopcorn.co.uk deserves to take a walk down the virtual catwalk approached us regarding SEO. They were not showing up for any searches relating to their industry for instance popcorn supplier, popcorn wholesale, candy floss supplier etc.

I would love to take credit for how the website looks, but in all honesty it was a combination of Jamie’s creative vision and the team at Empire which steered direction to the finished product. Together we do make a good team…

The website made in Magento has recently been picking up a lot of attention with many online retailers from within the industry. Magento is a feature-rich, professional open-source ecommerce solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over the look, content and functionality of their online store. The intuitive administration interface contains powerful marketing, merchandising and content management tools offering retailers the power to have a website that is tailored to their unique business needs hence putting no constraints on business processes and flow. Magento purchased by eBay in 2011, continues to be the fastest growing ecommerce platform in the world.

Mike, MD at Empire had this to say about our working relationship:

“I called Craig who runs an SEO Agency as I was so impressed with the level of service these ‘cool cats’ deliver with their no nonsense approach to tasks. Wecan Media maintain and troubleshoot my website and blog, taking on every challenge thrown at them with determination and flair. Jamie provides effective results every time. If you are looking for a talented and reliable marketing consultant then Craig is your man! Hire him.”

Empire Popcorn offer the tastiest, crunchiest popcorn with some delicious mouth watering flavours. While they do deal with some big players they also sell directly to the public. Go visit the website and try out one of their gourmet flavours which include Hot Madras popcorn, Sweet & Spicy Jamaican popcorn and Spicy Thai popcorn.


Dentist Cheshire

Our retained client Dr Khalid Khan requested that we create a dental website design for his new dental clinic opening up in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. An important consideration was to take in account the many devices used today hence having unearthed new design methodologies.

Designing a website for screen sizes from 3.5 inches to 30 inches and everything between and above can be a challenge. The Web like any other mediums has its own limitations. Over 55% of browsers now use their mobile phone as the main source of web browsing with over 45% saying they prefer to use their mobile phone to browse the internet. Having discussed the pros and cons of having a separate mobile website versus responsive design we came to the conclusion that responsive was the best choice moving forward.

Responsive design is a technique that creates a website that reacts to the size of the website visitor screen. Responsive design optimises a user’s browsing experience by creating a flexible and responsive web page, optimised for the device that is accessing it.

Mobile browsing has grown year on year with increasing preference online across multiple devices - tablets and smartphones. Responsive design represents the simplest way to reach users across multiple devices and ensures a seamless user experience. Traditionally users would be re-directed to a device specific site (mobile), but responsive design means one site can be implemented across devices.

Another reason for choosing responsive design is that the user has an improved site experience as with no requirement for redirection, a unified design approach creates a consistent look and feel.  Consistent user experience has a positive impact on conversion rates as people become more familiar with navigation and site or system use across devices. Responsive design removes some of the barriers that having multiple sites can present like functionality, performance and consistent look and feel.

With a single responsive site stops the need to have to track user journeys, conversion paths, funnels and redirections between websites. Google Analytics can be optimised to handle multiple devices and responsive reporting. All tracking and analytics will be condensed into a single report, allowing for easier monitoring and analysis.

All SEO efforts can also be focussed on the one site. This reduces the time spent as while SEO campaigns can be time consuming and costly, by creating a responsive site, all efforts can be focussed on a single site, with unified strategy and tactics across devices. Google suggest that mobile optimised responsive sites are featuring prominently in localised search results too.

But a responsive site was just a piece of the puzzle. The other key ingredient to an amazing website is providing a personal experience. We decided on offering a highly visual image led home page design that outlined the key services offered by Dr Khan and his team. By doing this allowed users to visit the website and quickly navigate to the secondary pages with personalised content in two clicks.

For private dentist in Alderley Edge visit the Elite khan Dental website www.elitekhandental.co.uk


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